Earth Hour designed to raise awareness of climate change is back. This year’s theme is declining biodiversity. Organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature and beginning in Sydney in 2007 individuals and businesses are encouraged to turn off non-essential electric lights for one hour from 8:30 to 9:30 pm. It is occurring tonight as it usually occurs on a Saturday in March. It is supported by other organisations such as UNESCO, the UN Environment Programme, the International Trade Union Confederation and even FIFA.
It is the ultimate act of virtue signalling as you are only being asked to go without some electricity for one hour a year to show that you care about action of climate change and feel good about yourself. Of course South Australia experienced multiple Earth Hours during its statewide blackout in September 2016 due to it having no coal fired power stations and its interconnector to Victoria breaking during a storm.
Blackouts are the end result of implementing the policies of those promoting Earth Hour, so at least they are being honest that increased reliance on renewable energy means we will have to switch the lights off more regularly to both keep our energy costs down and to prevent the power grid being overloaded. Some have speculated that Earth Hour with its symbolic turning off the lights actually represents the anti-industrialization goal of the modern left.
Following the South Australian blackout our governments and energy companies prepared last summer for the possibility of rolling blackouts, including bribes for reducing energy consumption during peak times. It still didn’t prevent a wide scale blackout in Victoria in January which affected 50,000 homes. It has recently shut down one of its major coal fired power stations at Hazelwood.
The invention of electricity has been one of mankind’s greatest achievements and has revolutionized our standard of living over the past 150 years. Given how our lives are become more dependent on new technology that requires more electricity surely we should be looking at ways to increase our electricity generation, not reduce it?
One progress loving organisation has decided to put its own spin on Earth Hour. The Competitive Enterprise Institute in the United States has tonight its Human Achievement Hour. It encourages people to take part in an activity that is only made possible through electricity to reflect on the innovation and progress it makes possible.
Thankfully these types of stunts pulled by the left to raise awareness of their pet causes are slowly falling out of favour and viewed with cynicism. Most Australians will simply enjoy their Saturday night and take advantage of the benefits electricity has afforded us in the modern age. Certainly if the Green Left makes a comeback we should certainly enjoy our electricity while we can.